Peter Ramm, waterlines
'Waterlines doesn’t read like a first collection. Which is not to say it isn’t fresh or exciting. Rather, that this is a poet at the height of their powers ... People who adore the great Australian poets Judith Beveridge or Gwen Harwood will love this collection.'
—Broede Carmody, Sydney Morning Herald/The Age
The rainforest, winter blows past, my son.
Dark air, under the canopy, his big dark eyes—
New and touching everything.
Red Cedar, behemoth,
Blots out the sky and you dart over the boardwalks
Gumboots clapping rubato. Today, I write to you
In this place
—this piece of an old world—this story.
Waterlines is a collection that inhabits the landscapes of Southern NSW, contemplating the complexities of fathering and older questions of being in ecological, political, and social settings of contemporary Australia. The collection explores the way water serves as a repository of human existence in myth and lore, and by extension to our own individual histories. Here the poems trace the geometries of interiority and place through their themes of loss, parenting, the wisdom of the natural world, and the haunting reality of the transience of life.
The collection attempts, as Rilke suggests, to approach nature, ‘To try, like the first human being, to say what we see and experience and love and lose.’ In many forms, the lyric poems of sestets, haiku, sijo, couplets, and cantos, set out to reframe the traditional pastoral. Peter Ramm’s first collection is simultaneously an exploration of inheritance, of being, and transmission; a clear-eyed interrogation of our ecological irresponsibility and what we leave the next generation; and finally, a lovesong for the landscapes and life of southeastern New South Wales.
Whatever love is for, poetry does that: Peter Ramm’s book is an instance. The collection Peter has crafted is shapely and wise and beautiful.—Mark Tredinnick
Peter Ramm is a poet and teacher who writes on the Gundungarra lands of the NSW Southern Highlands. He has won the South Coast Writer’s Centre Poetry Award and the Harri Jones Memorial Prize, and has shortlisted for the Bridport, ACU, Blake, and Newcastle Poetry Prizes. Peter has recently published poems with Cordite, Westerly, Plumwood Mountain, and Eureka Street Journal. He finds inspiration in the landscape and people of Southeastern NSW.
Peter Ramm, waterlines
2022. 148mm x 210mm. 112pp.